Kate's Reviews > Extras

Extras by Scott Westerfeld
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's review
Mar 17, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: 2009, age-ya, sci-fi, dystopia
Read in March, 2009

This has been sitting on my "to-read" shelf for a while... I mean, I had read the trilogy (Uglies, Pretties, Specials), and it all felt so complete. The title almost seemed to refer to this as an "extra" book, like a novel-length epilogue.

So I finally read it. It does provide a great end to the eco-crisis that appears in the trilogy but is not totally resolved. It also introduces another social commentary on society - the new world, after Tally destroyed the old hierarchy based on looks, now runs on merits received for "reputation" or fame. The more people watching your TMZ/YouTube-style feeds, the more merits you get... to the point where Aya, the main character, belives that if a tree falls and no one is there watching, it actually does not make a sound. The reputation society is Aya's main concern as she follows a secret clique in order to kick a really big story - the only problem is, kicking this story would make the clique famous, which they don't want.

It took me a while to get it, but with all the references to "manga-heads" (people who have been surgically enhanced to look like manga characters) and the nickname suffixes like "-sensei" and "-chan," I figured out that this society was based on Japan, whereas the original trilogy was in an English-speaking place (probably Australia, where Scott Westerfeld is from). It was an interesting thing to realize, because the original trilogy felt like it could have taken place anywhere on the planet (...that speaks English).

Overall, I felt that Extras was a good addition to the trilogy.

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